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, the spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff, but we are four days away from another financial challenge. that is the debt ceiling. now, compared to reaching your limit on your credit card essentially, treasury secretary timothy geithner said the u.s. is going to reach its borrowing limit on monday. he says, quote, i am writing to inform you that the statutory debt limit will be reached on december 31st, 2012, and to notify you that the treasury department will shortly begin taking certain extraordinary measures authorized by law to temporarily postpone the date that the united states would otherwise default on its legal obligations. there is wiggle room. that is equivalent to two months of borrowing. >>> now to the other financial crisis that could mean higher taxes for all of us. will congress send the country over the fiscal cliff or will they come up with some sort of deal and hit the brakes? the senate returned today hopefully to come up with some kind of deal. dana bash is flling this on capitol hill. i imagine we're all working over the holidays and i fess we're going to be workin
'm sure many americans are trying as well. >>> we talked about the effect of hitting the fiscal cliff on american taxpayers. what about businesss? what about businesses? rick newman of u.s. news and world reports tells us they're cutting back already. >> to say that business leaders are anxious i think is an understatement. i think they're thoroughly disgusted because you couldn't run a business like this, and they all know that. it is just kind of driving them crazy. but business leaders have been watching this for a long time, don. unlike a lot of consumers who may have just started paying attention over the last couple of weeks. business leaders have known this is coming for a long time. they know how ugly and dysfunctional it was in 2011 when we went through something similar with the debt ceiling. and they have more or less been expecting the same thing. so what we have seen over the last couple of months is that business activity has really slowed down. >> rick newman, u.s. news and world reports. why don't we remind you once again, that meeting is under way at the white house.
spending, what do you do? >> set the fiscal cliff aside for one moment. you've done extensive research on recovery from recessions. where are we in the current recovery? what in your estimation does 2013 look like from an economic standpoint. >> fairly normal from world war ii financial crisis, housing recovers on cue five or six years later. the good news is that there's stable underlying growth. the bad news is you don't get the zoom you got out of it during the depression. >> we're in year five of a seven year process. >> more than seven years. >> last time you were here you said we were half way through regardless of who wins in 2012. the next four years would not look much better than the past four years. >> we're going to have, i don't know if not very much better than the past four but we're not going to have fantastic growth. unemployment will take many more years to feel normal, so we have many years left in the recovery but hopefully in two or three years we feel like we're moving there and not at the starting point. >> let's talk about the global picture here. you have slow
. we acted to put off the fiscal cliff several months ago with a bill that without objection tend all of those bush tax rates into the future and would turn off the sequester by switching defense cuts over to domestic programs. democrats, of course have no intention of doing that. especially after president obama won the election. senate democratic leadership aide tells me that will remains a 50/50 chance we will get a mini deal temporary extension of tax cuts under $250,000 before the january 1 deadline when we would go over the cliff. will are no assurances of that. a white house official told me as president obama prepares to fly back to conduct and participate in the negotiations at the end, there has been no progress over the holiday weekend. michelle, i'm afraid that people who are looking for a deal and looking for a deal by december 31, all hope is not lost. it is not looking good at the moment. >> let's go back to this hitting the debt ceiling on monday. we learned of this because treasury secretary tim good night mother sent a letter to the honorable harry reid majority lead
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